A Langley medicinal marijuana advocate is worried he may not be able to travel abroad safely after he was abruptly ejected from Mexico.
Randy Caine worries that local controversy and opposition to his medical marijuana activism in Langley led to his being labelled a drug dealer by Mexican federal police.
Caine and his wife, Maureen, were on a trip to Puerto Vallarta in March of last year. When they landed, Caine was taken aside by Mexican federal police to an interrogation room, and asked about criminal activities, and if he had ever been arrested.
“They said I had been identified as a drug trafficker and a security threat,” Caine said.
Caine was put on the same plane to return to Canada. Maureen had to arrange another flight to follow him.
Sunwing indicated that the information likely reached Mexico through the Canada Border Services Agency.
Caine fears that his disputes with local officials landed him a Mexican watchlist.
“If you start gossiping, your words can leave your community,” Caine said.
Over the past decade, Caine has founded three outlets of Hempyz, which sells hemp-based products and marijuana-related gifts and novelty items. Caine sparred with Langley City over a bylaw that banned the sale of hemp-based products, even though other stores in the downtown sold products containing hemp.
In 2008, he founded the Langley Medical Marijuana Dispensary. The dispensary was raided in July 2011 by the RCMP, but Caine wasn’t charged until October. He eventually received an absolute discharge after he pleaded guilty two regulatory violations of the Medical Marijuana Act.
Caine has made Freedom of Information requests for documents related to himself from various government agencies, including Canada Border Services and the City.
During his attempts to set up a marijuana dispensary, his run for City council in 2011, and after the police raid, civil servants and politicians emailed one another about Caine.
“He is a dealer and that is it,” former City mayor Peter Fassbender wrote in one email to Coun. Rudy Storteboom in 2011.
Caine would like some answers about how Mexican authorities were told he was a drug dealer, when he has never been convicted.
“They’re just determined that I’m a criminal,” he said.
Years after founding a medical marijuana dispensary, Caine is looking at possibly getting a prescription himself.
He was diagnosed with lung cancer last year, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.
“I’m at a point in my life where I would like to travel,” Caine said.
But with the threat of being labelled a drug dealer, he plans to stay in Canada for now. Caine is still trying to get more clarity from the government over what happened and his status as an international traveller.